tv Hardball Weekend MSNBC October 25, 2009 7:00am-7:30am EDT
should fox hunting be legal? let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in new york. leading off tonight, the president's people versus fox news. it is getting serious. first the white house staffers began trashing fox. then they decided to skip over fox when it comes to those sunday morning news interview shows. then escalating further, the white house house refused to give fox an interview at the treasury department press event. given its choice of weapons in taking on an adversarial news will organization, is the white house smart to be playing hard ball with fox or right in singling out for denying fox the
usual press access every news organization gets? is this anything more than the usual attempt by politicians to manage their news coverage? they all try to do it. or has the white house crossed over into a line they shouldn't be in? plus, look at what sarah palin's up to now. she's joined the t.e.a. party crowd in endorsing the conservative third-party candidate in an upstate new york congressional race over the republican candidate. it may be what the democrats need to win that district. catch this. for the first time since the mid-19th century. is this really what sarah palin wants to be doing? causing republicans to lose congressional elections? did former vice president dick cheney give the white house a nice big gift in the form of himself? when cheney accuses president obama of dithering and waffling on afghanistan, does dick cheney become the great reminder of the mess he and george w. left behind? also, back from the dead. is the public option making a comeback? it looks like some form might
make it through the congress. we'll see if it really has or could have the votes in the "politics fix" tonight. finally, remember when president bush couldn't think of one thing he'd done wrong? that's all changed. w.'s venial sins. that's always admitting coming up in "the sideshow." we start with the war between the white house and fox news. joe con din writes for "the new york observer," a big paper here in new york for the smart people. and pat buchanan is an msnbc political analyst. here's president obama talking about this issue. >> i think that what our advisers have simply said, we are going to take media as it comes, and if media is operating basically as a talk radio format, then that's one thing. if it's operating as a news outlet, that's another. it is not something i'm losing a lot of sleep over.
>> the president may not be losing a lot of sleep over it but "the new york times" reported today and charles crowdhammer reported on it today, there's a big discussion now whether if the white house has escalated this battle beyond where it should be. here's what jim rudenberg, a respected reporter reported today about fox news competitors and apparently the competitors of fox news in washington covering the white house have refused to go along with the treasury department effort this tuesday to exclude fox from a round of interviews with ken feinberg. he is the white house pay master for the high-priced people up in manhattan here. pat, did they cross the line by excluding fox from a regular series of interviews that everybody else was getting? >> you excluded them from the pool. i think that's crossing the line and it's a real mistake. sounds to me from what the president said, chris, and what you just carried, the president really wants to deescalate this conflict and he ought to. the white house is looking petty and whiney and obsessed and it is looking very small.
and a battle with fox news, and fox news i think is winning the battle quite frankly, and many journalists i think who are not with fox may disagree with it, i think agree with that assessment. >> let's go with joe who writes for the new york observer. is the president smart to be sig lg out and celebrating as an enemy fox? did he go past it in terms of first amendment concerns? fox is also here, but they're not going to get the interview? >> i think as far as an interview with the president is concerned, that is definitely his call. if he feels he's not going to be treated fairly by any news organization, he doesn't have to go there. interfering with the pool arrangements of the networks is another matter
it means you're then trying to control what everybody is doing in terms of their coverage. and there will be a pushback against that. as far as the strategy in general is concerned, i'm not sure it is so bad. i don't think it is so bad for people to start to identify the republican party and the conservative viewpoint with glenn beck from the point of view of the white house. i think you see the republican party shrinking as a result. and dividing as you you talk about later in this congressional race we have here in new york. where gingrich is on one side and palin's on another. who knows where glenn beck is, but we'll find out. that part of the strategy makes some sense. what doesn't make sense is pushing too hard into the arrangements that news organizations have and trying to get them to take sides against each other. >> pat, where's the line in terms of looking bad? when do they begin to look bad? >> the white house staff looks bad already i think. very bad. a little petty, the three of them saying the same thing. the problem is, barack obama, chris, the greatest asset this presidency has is barack obama. the fact that he's a pleasant guy, he's got persona, and he's
very -- he's the greatest political asset in america today. you depreciate and minimize that asset by getting him involved in this urinating contest with fox news and they're dragging the president down into it and you can see from your clip today that the president said, look, i'm not losing sleep over this. this isn't my problem. he wants to be up and away from it. >> joe, can he keep his troops out there firing aware at fox and get away with that? or sooner or later does a reporter say, you are you singling out fox for denial of press privileges at the white house? are you doing that, mr. president? >> that's funny to hear pat who worked in the nixon white house which constantly attacked the press in the pettiest and meanness and sometimes illegal ways to suddenly complain the obama white house is doing something wrong here. that's number one. number two, look, it's best to let the president be above the fray. on the other hand, when you have a network that is organizing rallies and has glenn beck as the anchor for the coverage of the t.e.a. party rallies, you're
going to have pushback. >> so nixon is your standard of morality? >> not mine. >> let me take a look. here's what the white house says it is doing. pat, i think they make their own case here which you will respond to i think. david axelrod, a smart guy, here he is saying something i think we can argue about. quote, this is a discussion that probably had to be had about their approach, that's fox, to things. our concern is other media not follow their lead. so here's axelrod who's a great guy and straight shooter admitting they're concerned. not that fox is fox but that other networks like nbc, abc, cbs, et cetera, ap, will begin to follow their lead in going after people like van jones, by looking for a.c.o.r.n. stories. by focusing on stories that help the right. that's an amazing admission on his part. >> the question is not whether those stories help the right but whether they're valid criticisms of the administration. and i don't think what axelrod
is doing here is very bright. the reason is he is suggesting what the other networks, smaller networks and the big networks and the newspapers ought to do and not do. that's not his job. they can determine whether a.c.o.r.n. is a story. they can determine whether van jones is a story. as for nixon, let me say this. that was a premeditated attack on all three networks in november of 1969, which the president reviewed and i wrote and nobody else in the white house was aware of. and it was a major public open assault. it wasn't petty in the least. >> it went far beyond that. look, they ordered -- come on, you went way beyond that. there was an enemies list drawn up. dan shore was on it. they were going to audit their taxes. tried to get skaffe to buy "washington post." they attacked "the post's" license. >> what is wrong -- welcome to politics. i mean, none. these guys were audited.
nobody was indicted for that. and quite frankly, nixon continued that up until 1972. and won 49 states. >> until the irs told him it was illegal and he had to stop -- >> pat, if roger ailes were in that situation compared to barack obama, would nixon be auditing roger ailes right now? >> we didn't audit -- if they audited somebody they would have caught him. somebody wrote up a list and said this is who we ought to go after, and nobody did anything. you know, chris, your hero is fdr. what did they say about fdr? we love him for the enemies he has made. >> let me ask you, pat. let me get this straight on your thinking. how far do you go with the enemies list? it's all right to do trash talking. everybody does it. you say who you don't like. fine. is it okay to audit people? is it okay to deny them licenses? to say we'll do something to katherine graham at "washington post" which i can't say on television. which john mitchell said. can you make those threats and still be legitimate? >> let me tell you what i think you can do.
i think auditing somebody is probably illegal and you ought to be caught for it. but having friends of yours challenge a license, going with antitrust, breaking up the networks, chris, they were an enormous power. they were a major adversary. how do you deal with them? you should do it above board. >> thank you, gentlemen. coming up, sarah palin jumps into a new congressional race, endorsing the conservative third party candidate against the republican candidate. is she helping the spoiler? are palin and the t.e.a. bag protesters helping the republican party drop dead? is that what they're up to here? are they guaranteeing victory for the democrats in a race the democrats haven't won since 1850? you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. ( music playing )
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just kidding. not really. a special election coming up in upstate new york has become kind of a proxy fight for the direction of the modern republican party. now sarah palin recently of alaska has endorsed a third party candidate in that race who's a conservative siphoning off votes in the polls for the republican candidate. palin criticized the whole republican party by the way, recently in making her endorsement on her facebook page. quote. this is governor palin. when the republicans were the in wilderness in the late 1970s ronald reagan knew -- unfortunately the republican party today decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines. this is why doug hoffman is running on the conservative party's ticket. michael long joins me right now. chairman of the new york conservative party, which is a force up in new york state, the empire state. good luck with the yankees, by the way, should they make it up against world champion phillies. >> you're wrong on the phillies. >> we'll see.
>> we'll be fine. we'll be fine. >> we have batters and pitchers. let's talk about this. what is a conservative in new york? are you guys for outlawing abortion? >> we have -- we're a pro-life party. >> you want to outlaw abortion. >> we are a pro-life party. >> this is "hardball." we talk english here. you want to outlaw abortion? >> we are pro-choice and we believe that the child has a right to the decision. >> do you want to outlaw abortion? >> we are pro-life. >> why don't you speak english? >> i am speaking english. very clearly. >> the law right now legalizes abortion. >> i think everyone understands -- i disagree with the law. i believe a child has the right to live. >> should a woman be put in jail for having an abortion? >> i don't believe -- >> should a doctor be put in jail? >> he wouldn't be put in jail because the law allows him to perform abortions right now. but the other side of the coin is, they are also performing late-term abortions and breaking the law. >> should doctors be put in jail -- >> if they break the law. >> this the biggest issue in new york. >> chris, you are so off base on this one. it is not the biggest issue. >> the reason you don't like the
republican candidate in upstate new york is because she is pro-choice. >> no, no. the reason i don't like that candidate, she got a 15 out of a possible 100 in a rating of the conservative party. sheldon silver, the liberal state speaker in the assembly got a ten. 43% of the democrats in the assembly voted to the right of dee dee. >> we have three candidates. keep the picture up there. >> she's wrong in economics, she's wrong on spending. >> dee dee is the republican candidate he doesn't like. she is too liberal. bill owens may well win this race in the three-way race and doug hoffman is your candidate. you like him because he is pro-life, he doesn't like same sex marriage. what else do you like about him? >> he understands that government is spending too much. we pay too high of taxes. property taxes are really ruining upstate new york, and, in fact, he's a rallying point for the t.e.a. party people across the nation. across the nation.
and that's why dick armey came up yesterday to campaign for doug hoffman. >> you've got all the winners up there. you have sarah palin now. >> okay, and sarah palin and fred thompson. >> let's find out what you guys stand for. are you for social security? >> naturally. >> are you for medicare? >> you know, chris -- >> i'm asking. >> why don't we talk about -- >> i'm trying to figure out what you you believe in. >> why don't we talk about the fact that dee dee had if work and family party endorsement for years which is a political arm of a.c.o.r.n. >> i'm trying to figure out what you believe in. >> you're trying to put me into a box. >> i think you're in the box. >> it has nothing to do with it. >> your candidate, doug hoffman, let me ask you about your candidate, doug hoffman. is your candidate doug hoffman pro-choice or pro-life? >> he's pro-life? >> he's for outlawing abortion? >> he's pro-life. >> you won't give me the answer. is he for same-sex marriage or against it?
>> he is for traditional marriage between a man and a woman which in fact is the norm of our society. >> he is against same sex marriage. >> he is against same sex marriage. >> where is he on climate change? does he believe it is going on? >> i believe he is for responsible issues that would not hamper businesses and put them out of business and cost us to lose jobs in our state and across the nation. >> so no controls on co2 emissions? >> when we look at what has happened in america, where are the controls coming from? government. government is causing the loss of jobs. >> are you for environmental controls? >> i am for having responsible -- >> in other words, nothing? >> responsibility that -- >> look, you guys use the nice language. when i get down to reality, i'm asking you, you're going to outlaw abortion but you're -- >> i'm opposed to abortion and we're pro-life. >> how are you going to change it? >> change the law.
>> you're afraid to say what you believe. >> no, i'm not afraid to say it. abortion is legal now. >> are you a parent, chris? aren't you for parental consent? wouldn't you want to know if your child goes to have an abortion? >> pennsylvania has a good law on that. i accept it completely. parental is fine with me. ultimately the decision goes with the woman. you don't agree with that? >> i believe the law of the land right now allows the woman in the first three months. >> this is the problem people have with the far right. you will not speak english. you want to outlaw abortion, you want to prevent same-sex marriage. you really don't want to do climate change no matter what you say. >> you're not plugged into what's really happening to the country. there are people across the nation including in the 23rd cd that understand they're losing their right to speak out for how government should treat them. government is telling them what to do. >> would you rather have scozzafava or owens or hoffman win? >> hoffman is going to win this race.
dee dee is moving down and owens is moving up slightly. he doesn't have the momentum we have. we're on this race real solid. >> where are you on evolution? >> let's stick to the -- >> you guys, you don't want to admit it. >> i'm not going to play this game. up next, is george a changed man now that he's out of office? he did something he didn't do for eight years? he's talking about making mistakes in the last eight years. george bush at least admit he had some sins like katrina. you're watching "hardball" only on msnbc. walmart checks other stores' prices so we can save on all our game time favorites. and if there is a better price out there, they'll even match it. which means come game time...
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money in montreal yesterday where he offered up something we saw so little of the past eight years. called reflection. here's "the vancouver sun's" account on the biggest natural disaster to hit america on his watch. bush said, quote, i spent a lot of time thinking about katrina, and whether or not i could have sent in federal troops right away, even though it was against the law. the delay of the course led to tens of thousands being stranded in flooded area. the real bush problem with katrina is that he had to have someone in the white house staff show him a copy of "nbc nightly news" on the disaster so that he who apparently didn't bother to watch it on television, so he could be caught up on the horror that had been going on down in louisiana that he missed entirely. the former president also says he regrets the infamous mission accomplished banner in may of 2003, though he mistakenly called it the mission impossible banner. that's what you might call a freudian slip. that banner represented the bush team's all too rosy outlook on the iraq war which he started.
president obama said he had no second thoughts on the decision to invade afghanistan or iraq. well, them was slam dunks i guess he thought. anyway, next up. title flight. by now you've heard of sarah palin's much hyped memoir. "going rogue." coming out next month. her critics on the left leaning magazine "the nation," have responded with this. they're writing a book called "going rouge," a book containing former essays of the former governor. i wonder if sarah will read either book. on a lighter note, we all know one of president obama's greatest assets is his beautiful young family. this morning we got a first look at the official family portrait of the obamas taken by annie leibovitz in the greenroom of the white house. annie takes beautiful pictures, doesn't she?
annie leibovitz. good luck to her. now for the big number. money can't buy you a seat? big apple mayor mike bloomberg and jon corzine made huge fortunes on wall street. now in politics they're known for waging campaigns that out spend the competition many times over. almost all the cash comes out of their own pockets. since the year 2000, how much have the campaigns of corzine and bloomberg spent combined? $338.8 million. $338.8 million. two guys running for public office. money buying love. an amazing amount. is it true love? $338.8 million spent by these two fellows in the pursuit of public option, if not public affection. tonight's unreal "big number." that's "hardball" for now. coming up, "your business." announcer: "it looks like nothing else
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